At this point, it appears the New England Patriots have identified Jarrett Stidham as their quarterback for at least 2020, if not for the future.
But is that the right call? Were there opportunities during the 2020 NFL Draft for the Patriots to improve at the quarterback position? Those questions won’t receive answers anytime soon. For now, all fans can do is speculate.
One player who likely will be tied to Stidham for some time is Jordan Love, whom the Green Bay Packers selected with the 26th pick in the draft. Blockbuster trades aside, the Patriots never were going to land one of the draft’s three most hyped quarterbacks: Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert. But Love, a talented-but-erratic quarterback out of Utah State, was available when New England elected to trade the No. 23 pick to the Los Angeles Chargers.
(As for all the quarterback selected after Love, you can have that debate on your own time.)
If the Patriots’ calculus, in fact, was that Stidham is superior to Love, then many around the NFL apparently agree with them.
“I’ve talked to people to think Stidham is better than Love and it’s not close,” The Athletic’s Jeff Howe tweeted Saturday. “Based off last summer and his entire portfolio at Auburn, Stidham would be, in my opinion, no worse than the third-ranked QB in this class.”
Howe added this note in a column published Saturday: “The first second-guess was Jordan Love, whom the Patriots passed over at No. 23 before trading down. I’ve spoken to people who believe Stidham is better than Love and it?s not even close. One QB evaluator didn?t like Love at all, pointing to the erratic, out-of-control throws and turnovers. Meanwhile, Stidham?s accuracy to all three levels is his best asset.”
I?ve talked to people who think Stidham is better than Love and it?s not close. Based off last summer and his entire portfolio at Auburn, Stidham would be, in my opinion, no worse than the third-ranked QB in this class. https://t.co/1DOpdnVXxE
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) April 25, 2020
Stidham threw just four passes in his rookie season, one of which was an interception returned for a touchdown. So, the jury remains very much out on whether the 2019 fourth-round pick has what it takes to succeed in the NFL, let alone adequately replace Tom Brady.
Nevertheless, it’s clear many around the league think awfully highly of the Auburn product. Through their actions during the draft, Bill Belichick and the Patriots made it clear they feel the same way.